for in-depth destination knowledge and high-touch assistance
Tentative 18 day diving itinerary from Ambon to Timika.
On this cruise Top Indonesia combines the great walls of the Maluku Islands with a visit to Asmat country on the Papua coast. We arrange these itineraries under the guidance of diving professionals and local guides who have extensive experience in the area.
On day one after you arrive at Ambon airport we transfer you to your chartered vessel moored in Ambon Bay. First there will be a general ships’ briefing to familiarize you with the ship and the safety and emergency procedures. This will be followed by a dive briefing. After checking our equipment and adjusting the weights we will immediately make our test dive near the vessel. Sometime after dinner the captain will order the anchor to be raised and the ship will move out of the Bay.
On day two when you wake up, the vessel will have anchored off the island of Molana, some thirty miles to the East of Ambon. The first dive site consists of a wall with overhangs and if the visibility is good we have a chance to spot pelagic fish. Afterwards we will move to the Island of Nusa Laut, where we can expect beautiful reefs and plenty of fish, perhaps a big school of trevalys or barracuda. After our second afternoon dive the vessel will start the 100 mile passage to the Banda archipelago.
On day three we plan to make an early morning landfall at the Island of Ai. We make a drift dive on a spectacular wall. With a bit of luck here we will spot Hammerhead sharks, Eagle rays or barracuda. The second dive will be on a slope with soft coral and sponges. For our afternoon dive we will move to Run Island. An amazing historical footnote is the fact that in 1667, under the Treaty of Breda, this small island was ceded by the English to the Dutch in exchange for Manhattan. Following our dive at Run the ship will move to the main Island of Banda-Neira. Banda is famous both for its natural beauty and because of its cultural heritage from the time the Spice Islands were the target of the European colonizers.
On day four we will spend the morning strolling through the town, visit the old fortress and the Museum. After lunch we will first make a dive at the famous Lava Spur and after we return to the vessel we will make a sunset dive in the harbour where in all likelihood we will spot mandarin fish mating….
On day five, during breakfast, the vessel casts off again and crosses over to the North point of Banda Besar. The highlight of our first dive is a beautiful swim- through of 28 meters. On this site we are likely to encounter giant groupers as well. Our second dive will be on a beautiful wall on the Southern side of Hatta Island. Our final dive for the day will be on Hatta Reef, just south of the main island. As the sun sets Atasita will go on an Easterly course towards the Watubela archipelago.
On day six around noon we reach Kurkap, one of the Watubela Islands, a picture postcard of paradise - countless coconut trees, white sand beaches - coral reefs dropping down to deep sea.
Day seven and eight will be dedicated to the exploration of the Kai archipelago.
Day nine and ten we explore the Aru Islands. After Aru follows a 24 hour passage to the Papua mainland.
On day eleven we make our landfall on Papua. We first make a stop in Pomako, near Timika, to take on fuel and water. Here an expert Papua guide will join us here
In the south of Papua the lowlands stretch for hundreds of kilometers and the rainforests merge with extensive wetlands, such as for example Asmat country, where we find “the best woodcarvers of the stone-age” …. In Papua there are virtually no roads outside of the few major towns and the only way to visit Asmat, “the prehistoric place that produces modern art”, is to go there by boat….
During the night we sail towards Agats. On day twelve we arrive in Agats in the course of the morning. We use our tenders to go ashore for a first encounter with the Asmat. On day thirteen we sail from Agats to Warse up the Asewets and Jet Rivers. Day fourteen we spend most of the day in Warse. Day fifteen we go downriver again towards the Arafura see where we stop near the village of Biwar Laut. We also visit Otsjenep. On day sixteen we arrive back in Agats, and during the night we go on a course back to Timika. On day seventeen we will arrive during the early morning in Timika. Disembarkation and transfer to Timika airport. Day eighteen is a spare day to be taken up as contingency in case of unfavorable sea conditions, unforeseen events or to allow for additional celebrations.